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Posts from February 2012


Listen: Norah Jones - Happy Pills

Norah Jones will release her 5th studio album May 1st.  Little Broken Hearts was produced by Danger Mouse.  The two first worked together on Danger Mouse's 2011 album Rome.

On Little Broken Hearts the pair share duties.  Jones worked the piano, guitar, and bass while Danger Mouse banged on drums and keyboards.

The cover art was inspired by "Mudhoney" a 60's sexploitation-film poster hung in Danger Mouse's studio.  Stream the first song Happy Pills from the upcoming release below.





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Hear The Decemberists' Song For Hunger Games Soundtrack

If you have yet to be sucked into the addictive book series of The Hunger Games, you might want to after hearing this. As you may have heard, they’ve made a movie based on the books, and they recently released the tracklist for the film’s soundtrack. AND IT’S AWESOME. It’s an impressive collection of indie folk & alt country artists, featuring Arcade Fire, The Decemberists, The Civil Wars, Punch Brothers, and up-and-comers The Low Anthem (and even Kid Cudi?). You can pick up the soundtrack on March 20th, and Hunger Games will be in theaters on March 23rd.

Check out the tracklist below, and get a taste of the soundtrack here by listening to The Decemberists’ contribution, “One Engine.”

01. Arcade Fire “Abraham’s Daughter”

02. The Secret Sisters “Tomorrow Will Be Kinder”
03. Neko Case “Nothing To Remember”
04. Taylor Swift “Safe & Sound ft. The Civil Wars”
05. Kid Cudi “The Ruler and The Killer”
06. Punch Brothers “Dark Days”

07. The Decemberists “One Engine”
08. The Carolina Chocolate Drops “Daughter’s Lament”
09. The Civil Wars “Kingdom Come”
10. Glen Hansard “Take The Heartland”
11. Maroon 5 ft. Rozzi Crane “Come Away To The Water”
12. Miranda Lambert “Run Daddy Run ft. Pistol Annies”
13. Jayme Dee “Rules”

14. Taylor Swift “Eyes Open”
15. The Low Anthem “Lover Is Childlike”
16. Birdy “Just A Game



The Decemberists - "One Engine"




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Bon Iver Posts Piano Mash-Up Video

Have you seen this video yet? I haven’t been this excited about a 25-minute jam since Sufjan’s “Impossible Soul.” Filmed at the beautiful AIR Studios last October, this recording session features Justin Vernon and Bon Iver drummer Sean Carey performing a compilation of songs a la dueling pianos. It’s a beautiful, raw presentation of Bon Iver music - a refreshing contrast to their elaborate concert arrangements lately. The session features “Hinnom, TX,” Wash.,” Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” “Babys,” and “Beth/Rest.” Here’s hoping the session’s audio will be available in the near future (on wax, perhaps?).

Sean Carey is from Eau Claire, too, and records music of his own under the moniker S. Carey. Explore his offerings here.

Set aside 25 minutes of your day to watch this gem.






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Listen: Punch Brothers - Who's Feeling Young Now?

Chris Thile fans, rejoice! Punch Brothers gave me the best Valentine’s Day gift this year – their new album, Who’s Feeling Young Now? The group's third release includes (finally) a studio version of their cover of Radiohead's “Kid A.” You might also experience a quick addiction to “This Girl” and “Clara.” Stuck in your cubicle, waiting for the weekend?  Stream Who’s Feeling Young Now? right here and let this newgrass keep you company til the clock hits 5pm.


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[Free MP3] Counting Crows - Mercy

The Counting Crows are set to release their covers record Underwater Sunshine (Or What We Did On Our Summer Vacation) April 10th.  The band put their own spin on everyone from Bob Dylan to Teenage Fanclub.

Adam Duritz admits during recording he suffered from withdrawls coming down from psychiatric meds that were  ineffective in treating his mental disorder.  "At one point I had the shakes really badly, and you can hear it on the song Hospital.  I'm just literally vibrating around the room trying to stand still and I couldn't do it."

Grab a free download of the Tender Mercies cover Mercy below.

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Listen: Fun - Some Nights

Aren't sneak previews fun? This one is particularly "fun" because it comes to us from a band called Fun. Fun's new album Some Nights will be out next Tuesday, February 21st, but you can listen to it in advance right here. Some Nights includes the incredibly catchy, youth anthem "We Are Young," a song which has recruited a lot of fans for the band since it was featured on Glee earlier this season. Songs like "All Alright" similarly capture the teenage-angst anthem vibe in pop form.

Some Nights doesn't seem quite as strong of a record as Fun's debut Aim & Ignite (2009); I encourage fans of "We Are Young" to explore all of the catchy, orchestral gems that their first album offers. Some Nights seems less theatrical, and in turn, more accessible to a mainstream audience. Regardless, Some Nights maintains the young, and dare-I-say "fun," sound of the band.

Fun will be performing in Madison at the Majestic Theatre on April 11th; I had the chance to see them live a few years ago, and it was a good time -- I highly recommend going!


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Garbage Tease New Song 'I Hate Love'

Not Your Kind Of People the first Garbage record of new material in 7 years will be released May 15th.  The band has indicated in previous interviews the new album will sound a bit more like their first two records.

Garbage has now posted a preview of I Hate Love a song from the upcoming release.  The video includes artwork submitted by fans.  

“We have the most incredible fans. We are overwhelmed by the amazing 'I Hate Love' art we received from all of you from across the globe. As a Valentine's Day treat, here's a sneak peak of a new song called I Hate Love showcasing some of your art. We weren't able to include all of your love-hating creations in the video clip, but we will put together I Hate Love photo albums on our Facebook page today to display everyone's work. We can't thank you all enough for inspiring us.”

Check out the I Hate Love clip below.




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[Free MP3] Horse Feathers - Fit Against The Country

Portland folk band Horse Feathers drop their fourth full-length Cynic's New Year April 17th.  Band leader Justin Ringle expanded the foursome to an 11 piece in the studio with producer Skyler Norwood.  Norwood's worked with Blind Pilot in the past.

Look for a possible Horse Feathers date in Madison this spring.  Grab a free download of Fit Against The Country from the upcoming release in exchange for an email address here






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The Fray, The Muppets, and Las Vegas
Last week, The Fray released their third album entitled Scars and Stories. The band believes this is their best album to date, and is considerably more "extroverted" than their previous releases. Where past songs focused on open wounds, this new album is about how those wounds have healed and left "scars" that have shaped their lives. The piano driven tunes we're used to are still very present, this time with a bit of southern rock thrown in.

However, this album may not have been if it won't for the Muppets. That's right, you have Kermit the Frog, Mrs. Piggy and all their puppet friends to thank for Scars and Stories. Following the release of their second album "The Fray" in 2009, the band was on the verge of breakup. They were then asked to record a cover of "Mahna Mahna" for The Muppets: The Green Album and while collected in their Las Vegas hotel room, they were able to put aside their differences. "Something happened between the Muppets, the drunkenness and Las Vegas, and Joe and I maybe both remembered at the same time that we actually enjoy doing this," Slade told Reuters.

Is there anything the Muppets can't do?

Source Reuters


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Watch: New Video From The Head & The Heart
Have you seen the new video from The Head & The Heart for their song "Down In The Valley" yet? It features film taken during their recent US tour, which, if you remember, included a stop in Madison (and a Live From Studio M session!). Play a game of I SPY while you watch -- the video features clips of the Majestic Theatre here in Madison, as well as Turner Hall in Milwaukee.

Take a look...




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Recommended: Steely Dane at the Barrymore
Some ideas are so crazy you don't dare try them. Others are so crazy you HAVE to just go for it.

If you're familiar with the band Steely Dan, and know anything about playing music, you might realize that their tunes are not the easiest to cover. So why in the world did Madison keyboard luminaries Dave Adler and Dave Stoler think it would be a good plan to get a wide variety of jazz and rock players together to give it a try? It seems like it would have been unlikely that any one would have taken them up on it. But for some reason they did, and it worked!

Their  fourth show is this Saturday night at the Barrymore.  Obviously it's worked three previous times, so this time ought to be four times as good!

Steely Dane Plays For Lovers "Make Tonight A Wonderful Thing"
8:00pm Tickets $15 in advance


The show features a very large band, with about 14 on stage at a time; lots of rotating, with two different drummers, three guitarists, two bass players, two keyboards, a horn section, backup singers, and 8 different lead singers.

If you go, you'll be entertained by members of The Gomers, Tony Castaneda Latin Jazz Sextet, The Clyde Stubblefield Band, The Obros, Phat Phunktion, Gibralter Rockers, Chick Singer, Kyle Henderson, The New Breed Jazz Quintet, the Black N Blue All Stars, Honor Among Thieves, Jim Schwall Band, and Adam Isaac and the People. Freedy Johnston will be there as well!

You'll also be able to snag some great swag at affordable prices: sweet Steely Dane tshirts, and merch from all the bands that all the musicians are in will be available.

And our buddy Andy Wallman from our beloved Gomers says there will be specials on Jose Cuervo shots. So even if you're not paying that much attention you're likely to have a great time!

Find out more on the Steely Dane facebook page.






















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Listen: Heartless Bastards - Arrow
Meet Heartless Bastards.


Fans of The Black Keys will probably dig Heartless Bastards. They both have Ohio roots, and a crunchy, bluesy sound that screams rock ‘n roll in its pure, raw form. The kind of music you’d imagine you’d hear blaring from the speakers at a sweaty, dirty, club show. Think of Heartless Bastards as a slightly-twangy, female-fronted Black Keys. The comparison is warranted – lead guitarist/singer Erika Wennerstrom & crew were signed to Fat Possum Records after Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney heard their demo. Heartless Bastards have since left Fat Possum, and they’ll be releasing their newest album, Arrow, on Partisan Records next Tuesday (aww, Valentine’s Day).

Now that I've whetted your appetite for Heartless Bastards, you’re eager to hear them, eh? Explore their aural offerings here, where you can stream their upcoming release Arrow in its entirety. If you’re in a hurry, skip to #2 to hear their current single, “Parted Ways” for a first impression.

Now that we've gotten you in the mood for Heartless Bastards, you're in luck - they'll be in town THIS WEEK. Lace up your chucks and head to the High Noon Saloon this Saturday. Or if you just can't wait, they'll also be performing at Turner Hall in Milwaukee on Thursday.


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New Releases: February 7th, 2012
We've sifted through the new releases for this week to save you some time at the record store.

Might we suggest...

The Fray Image
The Fray - Scars & Stories


For their third studio album, The Fray drew inspiration from an array of interesting experiences - Scars & Stories features songs inspired by the Berlin Wall ("1961"), the genocide in Rwanda ("Heartbeat"), a particle collider in Switzerland ("Munich"), and a Norman Rockwell painting ("The Fighter"). Intrigued? You sure are. Check out their current single "Heartbeat" here.


Ben Kweller Image
Ben Kweller - Go Fly A Kite


Go Fly A Kite will be Kweller's fifth studio album, and it'll also be the first release for his new record label, The Noise Company. Listen to the first single "Mean To Me" here. If you dig it, you can surely hear the song live when Ben stops by High Noon Saloon in Madison for a show on March 27th.






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Old Ideas - Leonard Cohen
Leonard Cohen's deep and steady voice returns on his latest studio album Old Ideas. Don't expect any hopeful and uplifting revelations from Cohen this time around. It isn't called "Old Ideas" for nothing. Here you'll find the dark and regretful musings fans of Cohen are used to, with some dark humor peppered in. Don't let this turn you away though, Cohen's music and voice are deep, thoughtful, raw, and beautiful. Fans of his are sure to appreciate Old Ideas, and new listeners will surely find something they like as well.














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Paul McCartney on the Making of 'Kisses On The Bottom'

Paul McCartney's new album Kisses On The Bottom will be available February 7th.  It's a collection of standards he's wanted to do for quite some time and includes two original songs.

The album features virtuoso pianist (and wife of Elvis Costello) Diana Krall and her band of high-quality jazz players. There are also cameos from Eric Clapton and Stevie Wonder. 

 



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[Free MP3] Graffiti 6 - Free

We introduced you to Graffiti 6 a collaboration between Jamie Scott and Tommy D a month ago.  The two Londoners met in 2008 after working separately with heavyweights Alicia Keys and Kanye West.  British artist Jimi Crayon was recruited to design a logo and the duo released their debut full-length Colours January 24th.

This week itunes has made the first single Free available as a free download.  Grab it here.


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Florence + Kanye + Martinis =
Florence Welch (of Florence & the Machine) and Kanye West have talked about collaborating, but they might want to reconsider after a recent night together in NYC. According to a recent story, Florence had a few too many dirty martinis ("a few too many" being 17) with Kanye before returning to the Bowery Hotel, passing out, and setting her room ablaze. Don't worry, she's not a pyromaniac -- Florence says she accidentally left a candle burning when she rolled in after a rowdy night that ended with a ripped dress, chipped tooth, and burnt hotel room. Hurricane Florence has arrived.

I didn't realize Florence was such a wild child, though I'm happy to see she has officially attained her rock star badge by getting drunk and trashing a hotel room. Cliche, yes. Rock 'n roll is here to stay!


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The next Jonny Lang? Quinn Sullivan is the real deal
I was up in Wausau for the Big Bull Falls Blues Fest, and had a great time watching all the great live music. The big surprise of the day was the guy who played at 3pm. He's just 15 years old and is a good friend of Buddy Guy, and even got to play...
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Recent Blog Posts
The next Jonny Lang? Quinn Sullivan is the real deal
I was up in Wausau for the Big Bull Falls Blues Fest, and had a great time watching all the great live music. The big surprise of the day was the guy who played at 3pm. He's just 15 years old and is a good friend of Buddy Guy, and even got to play...
Read More
World's Worst iPod: Young MC "Bust a Move"
Kitty apppeared to be all alone on her dislike of this song, which made it to #7 on the charts in 1989. Rolling Stone described the song this way: "a G-rated funk-bomb integral to hip-hop's eventual mainstream acceptance." The G-rating probably...
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If you get a chance to head out to Pope Farm Conservancy in the next couple of days--I highly recommend it! Pope Farm Conservancy is 105 acres that sits on top of three recessional moraines in the Town of Middleton, where three different watersheds...
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World's Worst iPod: Rex Smith "You Take My Breath Away"
Teen idol Rex Smith made it all the way up to #10 on the Billboard charts in 1979 with this song, which was actually featured in a TV movie called "Sooner or Later." Smith had a bit of an acting career and appeared in "Grease" and "Pirates of...
Read More
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You could call it Madison Craft Beer Week, part two! The week leading up to the Great Taste of the Midwest Beer Festival August 9th is chock full of tasty beer offerings all over southern Wisconsin, with plenty of tap takeovers, beer pairings, and...
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Eric Clapton definitely has retirement in mind. He hinted to Rolling Stone recently that he may quit touring and recording, and only play for family and friends. We can look forward to at least one more new Clapton record before he hangs up his Strat...
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